Asia & the Pacific

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Analysis & Opinions - Japan Forward

Japanese Nuclear Weapons Would Make Japan Less Safe, Not More

| January 18, 2017

This is not the first time that the idea of a Japanese nuclear capability has been floated: In the late 1960s, after the first Chinese nuclear test, the Japanese government under Eisaku Sato sanctioned multiple feasibility studies on how much time and money Japan would need to develop nuclear weapons. However, these studies unanimously argued against making the political decision to build the bomb, citing the tremendous losses Japan would incur in the forms of insecurity, economic costs, and damage to its diplomatic relations in the international community.

Madame Tussauds' designers apply the final touches to the wax figure of US President-elect Donald Trump, as they unveil the figure just days ahead of the American's Presidential Inauguration in Washington in London, Wednesday, Jan. 18, 2017. The figure will now reside in Madame Tussauds' London Oval Office alongside fellow famous politicians and global icons also immortalised in wax.

(AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

Analysis & Opinions - Financial Times

Donald Trump masters the art of the unexpected

| Jan. 17, 2017

As Donald Trump's inauguration approaches, people around the world are struggling to understand the inhabitants of the newest Trump Tower, the one at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. With freewheeling leadership, uncertainty about the enduring guidance of presidential statements and less ideological coherence than in previous cabinets, the processes by which decisions are reached will be vital. 

A model of the Capitol Building is displayed on a giant planning map during a media tour highlighting inaugural preparations Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, at the DC Armory in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Policy Brief - Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School

A Conservative’s Prescriptive Policy Checklist: U.S. Foreign Policies in the Next Four Years to Shape a New World Order

| Jan. 09, 2017

Based on the rigorous definition of vital U.S. national interests, this essay proposes a prescriptive checklist of U.S. policy steps that would strengthen the domestic base of American external actions; reinforce the U.S. alliance systems in Asia and Europe; meet the Chinese and Russian challenges, while improving the quality of diplomatic exchanges with Beijing and Moscow; reshape U.S. trade policy; gradually pivot from the Middle East to Asia (but not from Europe); maintain the nuclear agreement with Iran; and confront international terrorism more aggressively, but with minimal U.S. boots on the ground in ungoverned areas and without nation building.

President-elect Trump

Evan Vucci/AP

Newspaper Article

Trump denies grace periods to Obama’s ambassadors

    Author:
  • Mengqi Sun
| Jan. 06, 2017

With two weeks until Inauguration Day, President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team has issued an unusual order in the history of US foreign service: a blanket mandate that all politically appointed US ambassadors step down by Jan. 20, with no exceptions, as several US diplomats told The New York Times and Politico.

Blog Post - Views on the Economy and the World

Outlook for 2017

| Jan. 03, 2017
Five journalist’s questions about the economic outlook in the New Year and my answers: In the first year of Trump’s presidency, what do you predict for the US economy in 2017?The US economy is currently at or near full employment, for the first time in 9 years.  So there is limited capacity for an acceleration of growth in the medium term.  Mr. Trump is fairly likely to follow through with his proposals for massive tax cuts and spending increases (which the economy needed 5 years ago, but were blocked by Republicans).

Korea Wolsong Nuclear Power Plant

IAEA Imagebank

Journal Article

Improving Nuclear Safety, Security, and Nonproliferation in Northeast Asia through Multinational Approach

| December 31, 2016

Reviewing recent developments in nuclear energy, it is clear that Northeast Asian countries have become the leading customers and suppliers of nuclear technology worldwide. However, regional cooperation in the nuclear field remains inadequate when compared to the close economic interaction between these states and their need for solutions to pressing issues, such as supply assurance and spent fuel management. At the same time, with events like the Fukushima accident or the ongoing nuclear crisis in North Korea, there is an urgent demand for Northeast Asia to improve the safety, security, and nonproliferation status of the regional nuclear programs as any nuclear-related incident in any regional state will have transnational impact on the economic and social stability of the whole region.

Analysis & Opinions - The Diplomat

Would South Korea Really Go Nuclear?

| December 30, 2016

"Until recently, calls for nuclear armament were considered extremist in South Korean political discourse. However, public support for nuclear armament is growing in South Korea due to North Korea’s nuclear provocations. In a recent Gallup Korea poll, 58 percent supported nuclear armament. If the U.S. security guarantee is not credible in the minds of South Koreans, and nuclear armament is the only way to defend South Korea’s security from North Korea, a nuclear option will seem even more appealing to the public."

Analysis & Opinions - The New York Times

Women's Rights Are a National Security Issue

| December 26, 2016

"Over a decade's worth of research shows that women's advancement is critical to stability and to reducing political violence. Countries where women are empowered are vastly more secure, whether the issue is food security, countering violent extremism or resolving disputes with other nations peacefully."

Analysis & Opinions - Prospect

'Active Measures': A History of Russian Interference in US Elections

| December 23, 2016

"Both the Soviet Union and its western opponents, the United States and Britain, pursued covert action to interfere in elections during the Cold War. All of this, however, is not just about history: there are policy lessons for today from Britain and America's Cold War experiences."